Operation Paperclip

The systematic and secret expatriation to the US, the USSR and Great Britain of many Nazi scientists and experts in many diverse fields of study was known as Operation Paperclip.  Operation Paperclip, in fact, has been de-classified for many years but has never managed to make its way into mainstream history or history textbooks in any way.  Strange – or not?  Please read on.

At the end of WWII in 1945, victorious British, Russian and American intelligence teams began searching throughout occupied Germany for military and scientific bounty.  They were looking for items such as new rocket and aircraft designs, medicines and electronics. But they were also hunting down the most precious items of all, the scientists whose work had contributed heavily to the German war machine, in other words, the engineers, intelligentsia and intelligence-officers of the Nazi regime.

The US and British military sought-out and brought to the UK and America many Nazi technicians in secret and in order to further the technical abilities of the military-industrial complex in its never-ending quests for the maximisation of profits.  The original intent had been merely to debrief them and send them back to Germany, but when the extent of the scientists’ knowledge and expertise was realised, it was decided it would be a waste to send them home.  Following the discovery of Nazi flying discs and particle/laser beam weaponry in German military bases, the US War Department decided that the newly-formed CIA must gain control of both the technology and the Nazi engineers that had developed it.

There was only one problem regarding this scheme – it was highly illegal.  US law explicitly prohibited Nazi officials from immigrating to America and around 75% of the scientists in question had been committed, ardent Nazis.

Convinced that German scientists could help America’s post-war efforts, President Truman agreed in September 1946 to authorize Project Paperclip.  However, Truman expressly excluded anyone found ‘to have been a member of the Nazi party and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazism or militarism.’  The War Department’s Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) was instructed to conduct background investigations of those scientists under consideration for the project. In February 1947, JIOA Director Bosquet Wev duly submitted the first set of scientists’ dossiers to the State and Justice Departments for review.

The Dossiers were indeed damning.  Samuel Klaus, the State Department’s representative on the JIOA board, claimed that all the scientists in this first batch were ‘ardent Nazis’ and thus their visa requests were therefore denied.  However, Wev was furious.  He wrote a memo warning that ‘the best interests of the United States have been subjugated to the efforts expended in beating a dead Nazi horse’.  He also declared that the return of these scientists to Germany, where they could be exploited by America’s enemies, presented a ‘far greater security threat to this country than any former Nazi affiliations which they may have had or even any Nazi sympathies that they may still have’.

When the JIOA formed to investigate the backgrounds and collate dossiers on the Nazis, the Nazi Intelligence leader Reinhard Gehlen met with the CIA director Allen Dulles.  Dulles and Gehlen become friends almost immediately.  Gehlen was a master spy for the Nazis and had infiltrated Russia with his vast Nazi Intelligence network and Dulles promised Gehlen that his Intelligence unit was safe in the CIA.  Subsequently, Wev decided to sidestep the problem. Dulles had the scientists’ dossiers re-written to eliminate incriminating evidence and as promised, he delivered the Nazi Intelligence unit to the CIA, which later opened many umbrella projects stemming from Nazi research including such insidious secret programmes as MK Ultra (Mind Kontrolle) still in use as individual and mass mind control schemes.

Military Intelligence cleansed the files of all Nazi references and so by 1955, more than 760 German scientists had been granted US citizenship and given prominent positions in the American scientific community.  Many of these individuals had been long-time members of the Nazi party and the Gestapo, had conducted experiments on humans at concentration camps, had condoned and used slave labour and had taken part in other war crimes.

In a 1985 expose in the ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’, Linda Hunt wrote that she had examined more than 130 reports on Project Paperclip subjects and every one ‘had been changed to eliminate the security threat classification’.  President Truman, who had explicitly ordered no committed Nazis to be admitted under Project Paperclip, was supposedly never aware that his directive had been violated, but personally, I am not inclined to believe that particular fantasy despite State Department archives and the memoirs of officials from that era that  would confirm this ‘fact’.

One example of how these dossiers were changed is in the case of Wernher von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist, the technical director of the Peenemunde research facility, responsible for the V1 and V2 ‘vengeance’ weapons rained on London and South East England during the latter months of the war.  A report on von Braun dated 18th September 1947 stated, ‘Subject is regarded as a potential security threat by the Military Governor’.  And then subsequently, the following February, a new security evaluation of Von Braun read, ‘No derogatory information is available on the subject…  It is the opinion of the Military Governor that he may not constitute a security threat to the United States’.  Von Braun worked on guided missiles for the US Army and was later director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre.  He became a celebrity in the 1950s and early 1960s as one of Walt Disney’s experts on the ‘World of Tomorrow’ TV show.  In 1970, he became NASA’s associate administrator.

Here below is a small sample of the 700 or so, shady characters who were allowed to immigrate to the US via Project Paperclip.

Arthur Rudolph

During the war, Rudolph was operations director of the Mittelwerk factory at the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camp, where 20,000 workers died from beatings, hangings and starvation.  Rudolph had been a member of the Nazi party since 1931; a 1945 military file on him said simply: ‘100% Nazi, dangerous type, security threat..!! Suggest internment.’  But the JIOA’s final dossier on him said there was ‘nothing in his records indicating that he was a war criminal or an ardent Nazi or otherwise objectionable.’  Rudolph became a US citizen and later designed the Saturn 5 rocket used in the Apollo moon landings.  In 1984, when his war record was finally investigated, he fled to West Germany.

Kurt Blome

A high-ranking Nazi scientist, Blome told US military interrogators in 1945 that he had been ordered in 1943 to experiment with plague vaccines on concentration camp prisoners.  He was tried at Nuremberg in 1947 on charges of practicing euthanasia on sick prisoners and conducting illegal and immoral experiments on humans.  Although acquitted, his earlier admissions were well known and it was generally accepted that he had indeed participated in the gruesome experiments.  Two months after his Nuremberg acquittal, Blome was interviewed at Camp David, Maryland, about biological warfare.  In 1951, he was hired by the US Army Chemical Corps to work on chemical warfare.  His file of course neglected to mention the Nuremberg trials.

Major-General Walter Schreiber

The US military tribunal at Nuremberg heard evidence that ‘Schreiber had assigned doctors to experiment on concentration camp prisoners and had made funds available for such experimentation.’  The assistant prosecutor said the evidence would have convicted Schreiber if the Soviets, who held him from 1945 to 1948, had made him available for trial.  Again, Schreiber’s ‘Paperclip’ file made no mention of this evidence and so the project found work for him at the Air Force School of Medicine at Randolph Field in Texas.  When columnist Drew Pearson publicised the Nuremberg evidence in 1952, the negative publicity led the JIOA to arrange ‘a visa and a job for Schreiber in Argentina, where his daughter was living.’  On May 22, 1952, he was flown to Buenos Aires.

Hermann Becker-Freysing and Siegfried Ruff

These two, along with Blome, were among the 23 defendants in the Nuremberg War Trials ‘Medical Case’.  Becker-Freysing was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for conducting experiments on Dachau inmates, such as starving them, then force-feeding them sea water that had been chemically altered to make it drinkable. Ruff was acquitted (in a close decision) on charges that he had killed as many as 80 Dachau inmates in a low-pressure chamber designed to simulate altitudes in excess of 60,000 feet. Before their trial, Becker-Freysing and Ruff were paid by the Army Air Force to write reports about their grotesque experiments.

Klaus Barbie

Known as the Nazi butcher of Lyons, France during World War II, Barbie was part of the SS which was responsible for the death of thousands of French people under the German occupation.

Licio Gelli

Head of a 2400 member secret Masonic Lodge, P2, (Propaganda due) a neo-fascist organisation in Italy that exists only for the Elite, Gelli had high connections in the Vatican even though he was not a Catholic.   P2’s membership is totally secret and not even available to its Mother Lodge in England.  Gelli was responsible for providing Argentina with the Exocet missile.  He was a double agent for the CIA and the KGB and assisted many former Nazi high officials in their escape from Europe to Central America.  He also had close ties with the Italian Mafia.  Gelli was a close associate of Benito Mussolini and was also closely affiliated with Roberto Calvi, head of the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank.  Calvi was ritually murdered and his body was discovered hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London, weighted down with bricks.

Gelli and his P2 lodge had staggering connections to banking, intelligence and diplomatic services.  The CIA poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Italy in the form of secret subsidies for political parties, trades unions and communications all fronted by Gelli.  Licio Gelli was an ardent Nazi and a perfect asset of the CIA.  As part of Reinhard Gehlen’s intelligence team he had excellent contacts and was also the go-between for the CIA and the Vatican through the P2 Lodge.

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